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Keyport Fest returns to Liberty Bay's small town | Kitsap Week

This mural was painted shortly before Keyport’s Centennial Plus celebration in 2010. It depicts local residents, when they were youngsters, swimming in Liberty Bay.          - Photo courtesty of Keyport Improvement Club
This mural was painted shortly before Keyport’s Centennial Plus celebration in 2010. It depicts local residents, when they were youngsters, swimming in Liberty Bay.
— image credit: Photo courtesty of Keyport Improvement Club

Keyport — Happy birthday, Keyport! Liberty Bay’s small Navy town is 100…ish.

When Keyport residents put on the first community festival of its kind in 2010, called “Centennial Plus,” it was meant to celebrate the long history of the town. But as Karol Stevens points out, it is difficult to nail down an exact founding date for the unincorporated town.

“But we knew it was over 100 years,” she said.

Community members enjoyed the celebration so much, they had to do it again. And thus, Keyport Fest was born — a celebration of all things small town. The first Keyport Fest since the 2010 celebration is Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 10 a.m., the North Kitsap High School Marching Band will help kick things off as it marches through town. The festival will feature eight local musical groups, including The Compellers, My Friends, Easy Breeze, Glennwood Station, State of Mind, The Home Town Band and the Ho’io Band.

The Keyport Improvement Club was at the helm of the Centennial Plus celebration. The club now aims to make the family friendly, small-town celebration an annual attraction.

“The first one was just a big festival,” said Stevens, vice president of the Keyport Improvement Club. “It went very well.”

The 2010 festival included a classic car show and events for children.

“It was fun, and the car show people kept asking when we are going to do it again,” Stevens said. “This year, we decided to do it (this year) and make it an annual event.”

The day will be full, with dancing lessons, a basketball clinic with the Kitsap Admirals, tic-tac-toe with underwater Navy divers, and a Poulsbo Marine Science Center touch tank. The Port of Keyport will host a fishing derby at the dock.

Children can also spend the day on a treasure hunt throughout the town, following clues to find various metal blue herons.

Families that participate in four or more children’s activities will be treated to a free ice cream cone at the Keyport Mercantile. Check in at the information booth for details.

More than 40 booths will be open and Hale’s Ales will feature a family dining area. Drawings sponsored by local organizations will be held throughout the day. And once again, classic cars will rev into town.

“I’ve heard about one car from 1908, and there will be cars all the way to present,” Stevens said.

Proceeds from the festival will support the North Kitsap High School marching band, Keyport park maintenance, and Keyport Improvement Club projects.

More information about the fest can be found on the Kitsap Improvement Club’s website, www.keyport98345.com.

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